We’ve all heard stories of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in the United States, and how elite NBA talent have risen through their ranks. And now, the AAU has expanded to Australia.
The AAU promises to add new opportunities for Australian basketball talent to be seen, and it began with Pete Unwin and Brett Stringer.
“What we experienced in the AAU events our group played was realistic aspiration. Our kids, who were not state level players, or especially select teams, were extremely competitive with our American opponents, some of whom were nationally ranked college prospects, with many others likely to go to college,” AAU Australia co-founder Pete Unwin shared, after coaching Australian touring teams in AAU-sanctioned events last year. “It was then that we realised the depth of talent at home and how well this would translate to Australia.”
As Co-Founder, Brett Stringer, explains, it was clear that Australian basketball talent was far deeper than realised. “Australian kids are way more talented on a global comparison than fully appreciated. There is no question that the existing pathways cannot cater for these numbers. AAU Australia will make elite level competition and exposure more accessible for a wider population of enthusiastic players working their tails off for their dreams.”
“Having coached for 37 years, including 16 years of AAU basketball in the U.S., and 5 years of rep ball in Queensland, I have noticed a lack of exposure for Aussie players to be seen by U.S. college coaches,” Inaugural AAU Australia Lieutenant Governor, Tom Haupt says. “AAU Australia will be a critical and essential platform for serious players to get the exposure they need to extend their dreams of making it to the NCAA and beyond.”
AAU Australia’s activities will include regional and national tournaments, camps, clinics, athlete combines to support Australian players who aspire to become NCAA, NAIA or JUCO student athletes.
The first AAU Australia event will be the Spring Madness National Championship basketball tournament, due to be held 29 September – 4 October at Dandenong Basketball Stadium in Victoria, and will be focused on ages 14, 16 and 18 under for both boys and girls.
Update: U14 club championships will be held at Ballarat from 30 September to 5 October, which could cause conflict..
More information on AAU Australia’s Spring Madness can be found at https://www.springmadnessbasketball.com.au.